Monday, July 28, 2014

Groove o' the day: Elvin Afro 6

All I can say is, we're all going to be masters of the 6/8 Afro groove by the time we're finished here. That's fine. It's a lot of fun to play, to listen to, and (probably) to dance to; and while it's got a long history of usage, it shows no signs of becoming worn out any time soon. It's just a very tight fit with the human body, the human nervous system.  

So here's another way of playing it, from Elvin Jones's album Very R.A.R.E., a Japanese release you'll have a very hard time finding:

Elvin's cymbal pattern is what's often called the “long” bell pattern, in African percussion parlance— our usual bell pattern, more common in Afro-Cuban music, would be the “short” bell pattern. If you listen to the recording, there is a strong pull towards other rhythmic subdivisions— it's a common aspect of Elvin's playing which doesn't get talked about much, and accounts for much of what is often perceived as sloppiness, or general looseness in his playing.

Here's the track:

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